What’s at Stake?
More American children suffer long-term life-harm as a consequence of reading difficulties than from parental abuse, accidents, and all other childhood diseases and disorders combined. In purely economic terms, reading related difficulties cost more than the war on terrorism, crime, and drugs combined.
We need to reframe our society’s thinking about what’s at stake and what’s involved in learning to read.
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In the U.S. alone approximately one hundred million children and adults have difficulty reading. The cognitive, linguistic, academic, emotional, social, and physical health consequences of their reading difficulties significantly diminish their opportunities in school, work, and life. In the aggregate, reading difficulties skew our democracy, drag our economy, perpetuate poverty, and cost U.S. taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Reading improficiency is our nation’s most wide-spread and costly learning disability and nothing short of a complete REFRAME in how our society thinks about ‘what’s at stake’ and ‘what’s involved’ is going to improve the situation.